16/01/2015

Childcare Costs Increase For NI

The cost of full-time childcare in Northern Ireland has increased from the previous year's figures, it has been revealed.

New research by charity Employers for Childcare, found the average cost of full-time childcare for one child is £162 a week in NI.

This is an increase of 2.5% from the previous year.

Some 4,500 parents were interviewed for the study, which said that 60% of families in the region are struggling to meet the costs of childcare. Almost a third (27%) said that childcare is their largest outgoing. For other parents, they have actually had to reduce their working hours in order to keep costs down.

According to the feedback received from parents, the average childcare costs in Northern Ireland vary depending on nursery, childminding or breakfast club places. For example, a full-time day nursery place costs £156 a week, while a full-time childminding place at £167 per week. Elsewhere, an after-school club is said to be £83 per week, while a spot at breakfast club will cost parents £30 a week. Summer schemes were also included in the research, coming in at an average of £121 per week.

Commenting ahead of today's launch of the report, Mairaid McMahon, Director of Charity Services, Employers for Childcare, said: "The rising cost of childcare is having serious effects on local families, with many parents making financial sacrifices just to make ends meet. We've heard from parents who are reducing their hours, or leaving work altogether, due to the high cost of childcare, as well as 22% of respondents who are relying on loans or credit cards to pay their childcare bills.

"We've been publishing these annual surveys now for five years and, despite all of our best efforts, almost half of all respondents are still not sure as to whether they are getting all of the help to which they are entitled with their childcare costs. That's why today we are calling on our devolved institutions to take some urgent action to help local parents navigate this increasingly complex, and expensive, system."

(JP/CD)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

31 August 2021
53-Year-Old Dies In Custody At Maghaberry Prison
A 53-year-old has reportedly died in custody at Maghaberry Prison, the Northern Ireland Prison Service has announced. The Department of Justice has reported that the prisoner died on Saturday 28 August, that his next of kin have been informed and that the death was not covid related.
14 September 2021
12-15-Year-Olds To Be Offered Vaccine
The Covid-19 vaccine is to be offered to young people aged 12-15, following unanimous advice to ministers from the four UK Chief Medical Officers.
14 September 2021
Annual Redundancies 31% Higher Than Previous Year
One hundred and thirty new redundancies were confirmed in August, bringing the annual total to 5,060 – 31% higher than the previous year. The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has published the latest labour market statistics.
17 September 2021
NI Agri-Food Sector To Be Showcased At Balmoral Show
Northern Ireland's agri-food sector is set to be highlighted at this year's Balmoral Show, taking place at the Eikon Exhibition Centre in Lisburn from 22-25 September.
01 September 2021
£23m Invested In New Skill Up Initiative
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has announced an investment of £23 million in a new Skill Up initiative to deliver free training places.